Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

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NY is teaming with pumpkin patches & apple orchards where you can play & pick & pray your kids smile for some winning Fall pictures. As you can see there was plenty of smiling at this one from all of us-(my mom & dad went with us to this one). You may also notice the bottom center picture which was my attempt at capturing a winning shot of my 2 kids surrounded by orange balls & hay. Not successful. I included it to make you feel better if you also didn't get the shot you wanted this year!

This one had SO much to do, especially on weekends where it was more of a fair w/the fair food & rides. We visited on a weekday & got to feed the animals, climb, slide, & pick our pumpkins. Carter got his first bee sting & I was very grateful for the wet WNY mud anywhere I stepped b/c the stinger came out & the crying was minimal. We made another visit to a pumpkin patch the next week with Dan's side of the family in the Finger Lakes, NY. (LOTS colder that day!)

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

She's this beautiful for a reason

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This post is really more for me than for you.You may benefit too, especially if your 1 year old is beautiful for a reason-and I'm not talking about her future in print.
This one is not for you, who have struggled to get or stay pregnant or you who have lost a baby. I can only imagine your heartbreak & the judgement you'd feel toward me for this post. Understandably so. I lost a baby & remember how life became instantly more valuable & instantly out of my control at that time.
This post is for me. Birth-control of sorts. It's a reminder that yes, she is beautiful; perfectly pink & her rubber-band arms & legs are delicious.
But she, like Carter until her age, is miserable being a baby. She cries most of the day. Sometimes screams unprovoked by anything we can see.
Trust me, I've looked for the pin that MUST be poking her.
She is a great eater & sleeper. It's the in between that she doesn't enjoy. I wish it were that she were hungry or sleepy or sick or wet or even bored, so that I could fix it.
But she is simply...well, no that's not right. If she were "simply" anything that would mean I had discovered her issue & am on my way to Googling it's remedies.

"Lord, I thank you for Lilah. She is healthy & we are blessed to have her!
Still, I pray that you remind me of these tough baby days around this time next year should Dan & I start thinking about having more,
(since 2 Christmases ago we certainly had forgotten how
really rough our baby days with Carter had been.)
And if there's some sort of patience or whatever you are trying to beat out of me through this experience, please help me to see it & learn it soon.

And really, thank you for Lilah. She is beautiful. And when she smiles or giggles, my heart swells.
You did that on purpose, huh? (You're funny, God) Well, it helps. It erases the picture I have of her eyes pouring out tears, mouth-wide opened
& screaming what I hear as "you STINK at this mom thing"!"

Don't believe me?
I thought you may not so I brought the camera in when she woke up from her nap.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Strong Museum of Play

First stop in NY,well...after family living rooms & dining tables covered with Buzzy's pizza & Buffalo wings, Dunkin Donuts, and Wegmans, of course, was Strong Museum of Play.

Truth is, playing took precedents over pictures at this place. As you'll see in the collage below, it was a feast for the eyes, so getting the kids to look at my lens was nearly impossible. There was SO much to do & see there, we didn't even make it to the Toy Hall of Fame. The highlights were the Wegmans' grocery store, Sesame Street with Elmo's world, and Bearenstain Bear Country.

Their kid-size Wegmans was outstanding. Details! Details! Details! Down to printing your receipt!

Each area had something for Carter at 3 & something for Lilah at 1. BONUS!
Something for everyone! This place just goes on & on & on...the train, the post office, the theater, the story land, even the Marvel Comics exhibit that Dan & Carter broke into before it was open to the public the next week...
We had a blast!
We drove a bit over an hour to get there. I'd drive even more. Well worth it. If you're anywhere nearby.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Speaking of technical difficulties

We boarded our 3 stop, 8 hour day of plane riding with a 3 year old & a 1 year old armed with technical support. Leapster2 bought with this trip in mind, a DVD player, and high hopes for a short nap from both of them, iPods stocked with songs & audiobooks to take us away mentally IF the naps never came.
Turns out the DVD player hadn't charged the night before, the Leapster2 wouldn't turn on, Dan's iPhone had to be replaced & all of his songs were erased, my iPhone quickly became the stand in for 3 year old entertainment.
Carter did awesome! I mean really, I'm amazed. Long flights for 8 hours with no DVD player or Leapster & he sat still, ate through the snack bag & just looked out the window or started conversations with me.
Lilah, was a different story. Fussed most all of the day. She would only sit with Dan, so he had no relief except for that one flight when she screamed herself to sleep on his shoulder. I noticed her face was right in the sun & decided to move her to his other shoulder...& she woke up! Sorry, Dan.
I'll never understand why the grey-haired folks seem to look over their shoulder at you & the crying (ok screaming) baby on your lap. Really? Do you think that I'm witholding some magic solution to this problem that your judgemental stare will prompt me to pull out?
What a day.
We'll take it though. We both agree we had the best visit back home with family we've had since we moved away 4 years ago.
More to come on that... Pin It

My apologies

My apologies to my faithful followers. I appreciate you so much & didn't want to tempt you to delete me from your Google Reader, so I set up to have some of my pals guest blog for me while I was out of town. had some technical difficulties and only a few of them ended up posting as scheduled.
I trust that you enjoyed these few-I did. For those that didn't post, they are stored away for the next time I need them. Pin It

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Guest Blogger: Starr Cliff


It’s so fun when babies are born, and everyone dissects who they look like:

“I think he has your chin.”…“Those are definitely your feet. His toes are long and finger-ish just like your freaky toes.”…“He has your nose for sure. There’s absolutely no denying that’s your honker.”…“He has your beautiful big brown eyes.”

So fun!

It gets even more fun when they get a wee bit older and start to smile and laugh and do more than just lay around:

“Oh! How sweet! She has your laugh!”“Wow, he looks just like his Daddy when he smiles.”…“You make that same face when you’re sleepy!”

I love it when I see a picture of my four year old daughter, and it reminds me of a picture of myself when I was her age. It thrills my mom and my grandma too – they love to see past cherished images re-lived through their grandkids.

But about the time my kids hit three or four years old, I began to seriously take note that my kids look like me in more ways that just sharing my smile…..

My four-year-old daughter slammed her door in anger a couple days ago. It was a bad choice on her part. She didn’t show self-control. She wasn’t respectful toward her brother, whose face the door was slammed in. She acted out of anger and not out of love. So her behavior had to be corrected.

[gulp] [sigh] [gulp again]

Everything in me wanted to just let that solitary act of door slamming pass by unnoticed.

Her childish, angry, door-slamming behavior was learned from….her mommy. [and did I mention – “gulp”]

When I’ve had enough – enough of an argument, attitude or heated conversation – I have been known to slam a door. It’s sort of my signal to my husband that I’m done for the moment. I’m D.O.N.E. Ladies, you know what I mean. DONE. I’m angry and need to resume at a later time. So instead of saying, “I really just need some time to think about this and get my emotions under control, and we can talk later”, I instead quickly depart the area, head to my bedroom, and slam the door. I’ve found it communicates the same message, in a much more profound way. A side benefit is that it needlessly escalates the situation to new, much worse, level. Mature, huh?

Now the slamming of doors doesn’t happen often mind you (honestly, it doesn’t!), but enough that in Lauryn’s short four years of the planet she’s heard the slamming of a door 3 or 4 times.

Seeing that behavior in her was nowhere near as fun as seeing that we share a smile.

Our children are little mirrors, reflecting back to us all the things they see us do. Both good and bad.

I had to correct Lauryn the day of the door-slamming incident. I did it with much grace and sincere apologies for being a poor example. But I had to correct her nonetheless. And it was really tough.

I’m quite certain I will exercise a little more self-control the next time I’m angry.

Let’s just hope I don’t replace the door-slamming with something equally immature for her to copy. I hope I don’t start cussing. That could be embarrassing.

You can follow Starr Cliff at
Lost in Laundry. She was one of my first local friends, and can be thanked for linking me to most of my favorite gals in town.

*detailgal note*
Tina added the Mirror because I've been crushing on it & Starr didn't like any mirror images she found. For ordering: Elise Frameless Mirror, Pottery Barn
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Monday, October 12, 2009

Guest Blogger: Kate Adamson

Guest Blogger: Kate Adamson writes...

Four-teen-er: a mountain over 14,000 feet, and a status symbol of induction into Colorado’s famous outdoor life.
Time: Last Saturday Place: The Decalibron (a series of 4 fourteener peaks in Colorado) Who: Me and my church hiking group Experience with me: 50-60 mile an hour winds causing such bad wind burn my face is still raw and peeling. Sloshing through two feet of snow. Gardening gloves instead of snow mittens. Gravel flying through the air pinging my ear drum. Hyperventilating as a result of the chest congestion from the swine-ish flu I had two days earlier. Knees killing with each step. Functioning on two 4-hour-sleep nights. And, literally five minutes into the 3-turned-to-9-INSANE-hour hike, discovering the postman delivered (Is that kosher for a blog?) And absolutely NO WHERE to take care of “things” except behind two little small rocks. Brutal. Very, very, very brutal.

But, I finished! Despite it all, last Saturday will probably be one of my favorite memories of fall. If I have learned anything over the past two years, it is this--that perseverance through hellish circumstances forges within us not only a depth of character, but rewards us with a gift that is only gained through the fight--joy. The joy of looking back and knowing we didn’t give up. Out of the four of us who did the whole hike, I was last. Trudging along and feeling bad for holding everyone up, I felt like the ole’ ball n’ chain. Often in our circumstances it is tempting to compare how we are handling life in contrast to others. Maybe it’s with those who have more time, more money, more friends, more love in their marriage, more opportunities at work, or just that they don’t have to deal with all our problems. But, what we often forget is that perseverance is no respecter of persons--it doesn’t matter when we finish, but just that we do.

To me, joy isn’t happiness, but rather, it is a inner sense of knowing. Knowing that we can o
vercome what is in our path. Knowing that God can handle our disappointment, our anger, our hurt, and our doubt--and that He will never turn us away, no matter how much we yell at him, blame him, or run from him. Knowing that in the face of certain loss, hope always exists. Knowing, that in the end, a beauty--a glorious, majestic beauty--is what we will see at the top. For, there is joy on the other side of this journey. The other side of the mountain, wind, and chapped face. On the other side of finishing. Pin It

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

guest blogger: lori bunk

Special Guest Blogger: Lori (Carlson) Bunk writes:

One of my favorite things about Friday mornings is getting my coffee, checking my email and finding out what Tina has posted in her “Friday Finds.”

Have you ever lived vicariously through another person?

Ever since college, I have always been in love with Tina’s sense of fashion and creativity and have sometimes wondered how she continued to always be spot on. I remember manipulating her into my room the night before our Junior/Senior banquet in college and begging her show me how to do my makeup.

I still use the tips she gave me to this day! (She also shared with me her brilliant tip on how to get a smooth shave for a formal dress, but I’ll just keep that one to myself for now). I’m definitely a jeans and hoodie type of girl, so I’ll leave the fashion and culture to Tina, but I do love finding new and exciting things to do with my kids.

Since Tina asked me to be a guest blogger, I wanted to share some of the fun fall things I’ve found that I will be trying this next month.

It’s no secret that although it’s the hardest job on the planet, being a mom can be super fun… and I’m enjoying every minute of it (well, except the 30 minutes right before naptime). Enjoy!

Hot Chocolate Mug Cake

Candy Box Robots

Coffee Painting

Apples on a Stick

Thanksgiving Turkey

Love Lori's ideas as much as I do? Follow her ideas on her blog.

Here she is with her 2 very lucky kids!
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

You're in for a treat!

Hey, it's me.
I'm taking a little vacation & wanted to share with you, my awesome readers, some of my awesome friends as guest bloggers while I'm gone.

for luggage (i won't be using but looks much more chic than mine) Pin It

Monday, October 5, 2009

"They liked it! They laughed!

Just picked Carter up from school & we're driving home...
Me: Carter, so, how was school? What did you learn?
Carter: Mommy, I burped at school today. The kids liked it. They laughed.

Me: Oh. time say "excuse me" buddy.
And don't do it on purpose.

Carter: Mommy, they liked it. They laughed.

Oh, Carter...if I told you how many
U's I got in Self-Control,
by seeking that same approval high!

I got you on the "they like me!" high. The burping...I'll never get.
This must be why my friends w/boys are reading "Wild at Heart" and "Bringing up Boys"

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Does God Exist?

Have you seen this video yet?
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